Voila_Capture939The only downside to the Japanese sensation is that he absolutely dominates Google Images for “Tanaka baseball.” I had to go deep into YouTube to pull this screen grab of Indians legend Taka Tanaka. Shame.

Anyway, to the real one:


This Tweet from Todd Zolecki might be the most Phillies headline ever: Team kicks tire on impact player, will wind up with over-the-hill white guy.


But the Phillies have contacted agent Casey Close about his client, Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. It is likely the Phils were simply doing their due diligence on Tanaka, but Amaro has surprised people before.

“Listen, we try to do our business quietly,” Amaro said. “We still have had dialogue with some free agents. We have had dialogue with clubs about possible trades. We’ll continue to do that through Spring Training. If there are things we need to address, we’ll definitely do that.

“We’re still looking at certain guys, but I think the message that needs to be thrown out there is we’ve already gone out there to sign a guy like [right-hander Miguel Alfredo] Gonzalez and committed to him. What we’re going to get out of him, we don’t know, but he’s a guy that we’ve committed significant dollars to on the international front. … I feel very good about the guys that we have.”

Tanaka, who is 25, put up stats in Japan that are positively absurd. He was 24-0 last season with a 1.27 ERA, 183 strikeouts, 32 walks, and a 0.94 WHIP. His only loss came in Game 6 of the Japan Series, when he threw 160 pitches… but he came back the next night and got the save in Game 7 to win his team the series.

Here’s an exclusive image taken by quasi-CB photographer Dan, who watched Tanaka win the series while living with monks (who apparently own flatscreen TVs) in the hills of Koyasan. Really. We’re international like that. And not to be insensitive, but I believe this is actually a pre-ported screenshot from Mario Superstars Baseball.

Even writers from The Scout think Tanaka is far-fetched. But he’s real, very real… and probably won’t be a Phillie.

Instead, maybe Madson:

Former Phillies closer Ryan Madson could be a fit on a Minor League deal. The Phils have watched him throw recently, although he is not yet throwing off a mound. Madson has not pitched since Game 5 of the 2011 National League Division Series because of Tommy John surgery and recurring elbow issues.


As for MAG: Phillies beat writer Kevin Cooney discussed him on our podcast last week. The Phils have significantly downplayed MAG since signing him to a substantially smaller contract than was first reported. Don’t expect much from him.